A leaking toilet is never a welcome sight. But it can be even more concerning when you notice a pool of water around the base of the toilet that can seep into floors and walls. This water could be unsanitary and lead to a lot more problems than just water damage! If you notice your toilet is leaking from the bottom, here’s what you need to know.
Warning Signs of Toilet Leaking at Base
It’s important to remember that not all leaks will be immediately obvious. Some toilets will leak water gradually and you might not notice the damage until you have a bigger issue at hand. If you’re wondering how to tell if your water is leaking slowly or if your toilet has an issue, here are some warning signs:
- The floor around the bottom of the toilet is always damp
- Floors feel spongy near the base of the toilet
- Musty smells or sewage odors that linger
- A damp or moldy ceiling in the area directly underneath the toilet
In more extreme examples in which the leak is more aggressive, you will see puddles around the toilet base, floorboards coming up, and more intense smells of sewer gas in the bathroom. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to contact a plumber as soon as possible. Leaving this type of leak unchecked can lead to major structural damage and unsafe conditions.
Reasons Your Toilet Is Leaking at the Base
There are several reasons your toilet may be leaking, but the most common causes for leaks that appear at the bottom of your toilet include:
1. Broken Toilet Seal
Have you noticed that your toilet rocks when you sit on it? Is there a foul sewage odor in your bathroom? Caulk around toilet cracked? These are clear signs that the toilet tank seal is broken and you need a toilet wax ring replacement. The toilet sealant provides an odor-proof barrier to keep water in and sewer gases out. When it breaks, you will experience leaks and smells coming from the bottom of your toilet.
2. Toilet Tank Bolts Are Loose
Toilet leaking from bottom of tank or base? The bolts that secure the toilet tank to the base of the toilet can sometimes become loose, resulting in leaks and rusted bolts. Loose toilet screws can also cause the tank to rock when it should fit tightly against the bottom of the toilet.
Related: Las Vegas Toilet Installation and Repair
3. Crack In the Toilet Bowl
When there is a crack in the bowl itself, water can start to leak through the crack onto the floor. It could also appear that the is toilet leaking from bottom as the water trickles down to the base. Depending on how big and deep the crack is, you can potentially repair the cracked toilet bowl. However, it’s often the best choice to replace the toilet.
4. Tubes or Pipes Are Misaligned
Toilet tubes and pipes bring the water supply to the toilet tank and drain the dirty water from the bowl. Correct installation of these parts is necessary for the toilet to work effectively. When they become misaligned, loose, or were never centered in the first place, you may experience a leaky toilet.
5. Faulty Shut-Off Valve
The toilet shut-off valve is what controls the water supply that flows into the toilet tank. It is also essential to operate the shut-off valve to turn off the water when doing plumbing repairs or installations. Sometimes, the shut-off valve for toilets (or parts of it) can become corroded and eventually start to leak.
6. Sweaty Toilet Bowl
Although a “sweaty toilet bowl¹” is more common in humid regions, it could still be the culprit behind your leaking toilet in Las Vegas in some circumstances. Because the toilet bowl generally stays cooler than the air around it, water in the air can start to condense against the toilet bowl, gather into droplets, and leak onto the floor around it.
Related: How To Clear a Main Sewer Line Clog
How to Fix a Toilet Leaking Around Base
If you need to fix a leak fast, there are things you can do yourself to stop the immediate problem. However, it depends on what is causing the leak and how severe it is. Here are some tips to fix a leaking toilet:
- Turn off the water supply using the shut-off valve behind the toilet
- Replace the toilet wax ring or toilet caulk if the leak and odor is coming from there
- Tighten bolts and toilet screws to ensure parts fit securely
- Ensure tubes and pipes are aligned and connected properly
- Call a professional plumber to assess the damage and make repair recommendations
You may also need to check the parts inside the toilet tank to see if they’re working the right way, including the rubber toilet gasket and chain. Faulty parts can lead to more wear and tear on your toilet and, ultimately, a leak.
Schedule a Free Toilet Repair Estimate With Larkin Plumbing
No matter how small the leak, you should never ignore a leaky toilet! Minor issues can quickly become significant plumbing problems overnight. If you notice your toilet is leaking from the bottom, it’s time to call the trusted professionals at Larking Plumbing in Las Vegas.
With decades of experience serving the Southern Nevada community, we’re ready to get your toilet back in working order as quickly and efficiently as possible. Contact our team today to schedule a free estimate or to learn more about our residential and commercial plumbing services.
¹Henkenius, Merle. How to Stop Your Toilet from Sweating. This Old House. Retrieved 24 January 2022.